Will Woods

Will Woods

 Will Woods has been involved in photography for over 30 years. He helped judge our Photography Open this year and has some of his own work on display in the Pyramid.

Have you exhibited work in Warrington before now?

Yes, I had a solo exhibition in 1985 entitled ‘Unable to Sleep’, a series looking at twilight and nighttime photography in the Museum & Art Gallery. Looking back, it was quite experimental and ahead of its time, as all the work was in colour. It seems strange now, but most photography back then was black and white!

Did you have an involvement in last year’s festival?

Yes, as an exhibiting artist. I submitted a large format photograph that was shown in the Pyramid. The image was made a few years ago and comprised a scene of young women at bus stop in front of the old high-rise collegiate that was then half-demolished!

Have you ever been on a judging panel before?

Yes, in my role as a lecturer in Photography, I have judged work many times. It’s a very privileged position and comes with a lot of responsibility and weight, as so much rides on your decision – especially when you know how much time, effort and commitment people put into their work.

What stood out for you in the prize-winning photographs?

The quality of all the submissions on show was really high and both of the prize-winners’ work stood out for many reasons.

For me, Terry Johnson’s ‘Unnatural Environments: the monkey house’ was very sophisticated. Not only compositionally, but it also possessed a wry comment and message that allowed the viewer to interpret the picture on many levels. Simultaneously it was humorous, with the confused expressions of the on-lookers’ faces peering through the glass somehow mimicking that of the ape’s expression in the tree.

Alan Fletcher’s ‘All Tied Up’ was also a greatly admired image. I particularly liked how effective and bold the image was. Using only an iPhone and an Instagram app to super-saturate the colours of the ropes and chains, he created a compelling effect that  looked painterly. His easy-to-use approach proved that stunning photography can be made in conjunction with a good idea and vision.

Why should people come and see our Photography Open exhibition?

It is inspirational in its breadth and reflects modern, contemporary themes that underpin how the world looks when it is photographed. The exhibition has been beautifully laid out, and purposely groups and contrasts each individual artist’s take on the themes of landscapes, documentary, social commentary and wildlife photography. In essence, something for everyone, young and old!


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